Entries Tagged 'County Commission' ↓

Huether says government can be run like a business

I have often shaken my head when Huether suggests this. They are not the same, for several reasons.

To my surprise I found this page in a booklet I was reading from the SD Association of County Commissioners. The booklet is called ‘So You Want to Be A County Commissioner’.

I thought the one page was very concise in explaining the differences.

The middle part that I highlighted actually intrigued me the most. While they are referencing County Government, I think Municipal Government would apply. Notice ‘Sharing decisions’, ‘Public involvement’ and ‘Public Eye’.

Huether prefers to run the city like a business because he doesn’t like to share the ball with the city legislators, the council, or the general public. He acts as the CEO of the city instead of a fellow lawmaker.

I want to remind Mike, once again, that government and business ARE not alike.

government-business

 

Sioux Falls City Council DRAFT Provisional Legislative Priorities

A quick guide and review of this year’s city council ‘priorities’

1) That the Sioux Falls City Council, in conjunction with the South Dakota Municipal League, opposes any legislation which would inhibit municipalities from providing services requested by citizens in whatever form the citizens approve and opposes any legislation that restricts local control over taxation and spending.

Ah, nice wording Fiddle-Faddle. This is a ‘sticky’ one. What does it mean? Well since the days of councilor Quen Be De the city(s) have been trying to get permission from the state to raise our own sales taxes so they can build ‘things’. Of course, they always bring up that the voters will have to approve it and the tax will only be temporary (so when is the entertainment tax going away now that we have paid off the Pavilion?). I think it is wise that the state regulates this, it protects citizens in any community from municipalities to become ‘tax happy’. The city already ‘fees (taxes)’ the crap out of us. They continually raise property taxes, and every year, like clockwork, the city increases revenue. We don’t need any ‘special taxes’ what we need is a corporate income tax to pay for special projects. Corporations are always crying there needs to be more quality of life projects to attract ‘professional’ workers. Well then, pony up.

2) The Sioux Falls City Council supports legislation allowing municipalities alternative publication options.

This was a battle councilor Bob Litz begun, he thinks the Argus charges too much (and they do) and that public notices, etc. should be published in ‘other papers’ like the Shopping News. Even though the SN is only a weekly paper, it is FREE and is distributed to more homes then the Argus. Maybe it is time.

3) The Sioux Falls City Council opposes any legislation that would reduce, remove, repeal or reallocate the municipal sales tax, liquor tax reversion or any other municipal revenues to any other unit of government or that would expand the power to impose a sale or use tax to any other unit of government.

This is a blatant pissing match with the County Commission. When commissioner Jeff Barth suggested the county needed more of this tax income, I kinda balked. But now when I look at it, it makes sense. Barth’s proposal is simple; Alcohol related crimes are about 90%+ of related crimes in our county, why not use that tax to combat those crimes in our court system? Who funds the court system? The county. It’s one thing to quietly not support the county getting more of this tax base, it’s a whole other ball of wax calling on the legislature to oppose giving them more money. But doesn’t surprise me. Not that I’m not a local government nerdy enough, I started watching the County Commission meetings a few months back. They conduct business so much more professionally then the city council, and while they don’t always agree with each other and the public, they have sincere conversations about the people they govern. The best was when they were questioning the purchase of new vehicles when the old ones ran just fine. I thought I was looking at room full of Staggers. It was refreshing. The city could learn a lot from how these folks govern. ALOT!

4) The Sioux Falls City Council supports legislation extending owner occupied status to income based rental housing for property tax purposes.

5) The Sioux Falls City Council supports legislation to raise the threshold for requiring a performance bond to $50,000.

While I am a little murky on these two, I kind of understand them and support them. But maybe I am missing something? Help me out soldiers.

6) The Sioux Falls City Council strongly encourages the legislature to direct that any available water development funds be used to support completion of the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System in South Dakota.

7) The Sioux Falls City Council supports legislation appropriating funds from the general fund for the purpose of providing advance federal funds on a zero interest reimbursable basis for construction for Lewis & Clark Rural Water System facilities in South Dakota.

I have never been a fan of Lewis & Clark, and while the $80 million we have spent is already a done deal, I am suspect as to why SF should care when or if this project gets done? We already got snookered by these folks, why encourage more snookering? While it is true other communities NEED this project, Sioux Falls only uses our required amount (around 11% a day) and as told by Public Works director Mark Cotter that it is an ‘emergency backup’. I kind of wonder if the $80 million would have came from the feds instead–if more smaller communities would be hooked up instead of SF, which doesn’t really need it, especially in light of the great conservation numbers we have been having lately.

In conclusion, we had to hire a full-time council staffer to come up with these awesome seven priorities. I wonder how many consultants we had to hire to come up with the wooden dog fence at the council podium and the self-locking security doors at Carnegie?

Water, uh, I mean, money under the bridge.

Who says local government doesn’t do some things right?

solar-cell

Well, I guess, mostly me. HA! Well not today, Minnehaha County and the City of SF are considering changing the zoning usage of solar panels. The County Commission has already approved this on their end, but they have to have a joint agreement with the city. Can’t wait to see if there will be any detractors to this. I wouldn’t think so, but who knows, especially after reading about those anti-winders in the Canton and Beresford area. Renewable energy is hazardous to our health, didn’t you know?

So is it Gant or Litz that messed up? Makes you wonder?

Interesting the letter is dated June 6, then he spoke before the county commission on June 10 about still trying to resolve this.

Postmarked June 11.

and he didn’t even bother to sign the letter

millage-book

Click on image to enlarge

Still issues with voting

As I have pointed out several times after the municipal election and the run up to it, there were many issues with voting.

Besides the musical polling places every time there is an election, there are still problems with registration.

Last Friday someone told me that him and his wife recently moved into a new home and checked their voter registration to make sure it would be current. They are supposed to be registered in District 11, but were told they were in District 9 and voting at MariCar. This person pointed the problem out to Bob Litz and nothing was really done about it except they were told to still vote in District 9.

Last night they checked online, and they were still listed in District 9. So they went to vote at 7:30am this morning.  Fortunately, all the precinct workers knew him because his name (and his wife’s) was not listed on the voting roster!

They called the Auditor’s office to confirm that he was registered, but couldn’t explain the omission.  He had to fill out an Emergency Voting Card in order to vote.  He told me he felt sorry for the precinct workers as all the power – except lights – was shut off in there … no AC and the clock was stuck on 11:10.  He shared his story at public input this morning at the county commission meeting. (The video is not up yet, but I hear the CC was not to happy).

My conclusion all along after the municipal election fiasco is that heads need to roll on these mishaps, saying an election went ‘smoothly’ when it was an absolute disaster is just sugar coating the problem. We’ll see how things go tonight. Let’s just say, if Bosworth wins the Republican Senate ticket spot, we know something isn’t working correctly in the auditor’s office.

County Auditor Litz has a challenger

Tony

Tony Bartholomaus to Seek Minnehaha County Auditor Position

Sioux Falls, South Dakota—

On May 28th, 2014 Tony Bartholomaus announced his candidacy for Minnehaha County Auditor. Bartholomaus, 37, is married  and the father of two with his wife Ashley. He is employed as a personal banker in Sioux Falls. Bartholomaus, a Democrat, is a newcomer to politics.

“In light of recent miscues by the current Auditor I feel it is time to introduce myself to the voters and let them know they will have a choice when they vote for Auditor in November.”

“I get a great deal of pleasure in my current work helping my clients achieve financial success and stability. My current position requires attention to detail, financial expertise, a strong work ethic, a team effort  and, sometimes, long hours. I want to bring these same qualities of competence and hard work to the office of Minnehaha County Auditor and provide  the people of Minnehaha County the leadership the office needs..

“Unfortunately, the confidence the Auditor;s office enjoyed in the past has suffered under its current leadership . Recent ballot errors and election mistakes have been well documented in the press and at County Commission meetings.The Auditor’s office has a hardworking staff. And, just like the citizens they serve, they deserve the support and leadership of a competent Auditor  That is why I offer myself to the citizens of Minnehaha County as a choice… the right choice for Auditor this November.” said Bartholomaus.

“I do not enter this race naively,” said Bartholomuas. “The current Auditor has long political experience as a Democrat and as a Republican in Minnehaha County and it is never easy to defeat an incumbent. But I promise to work as hard as I can and to demonstrate by doing, my message of “restoring the tradition of hard work and competence” to the office of Minnehaha Auditor. I invite all Minnehaha County residents, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to join me in this effort.”

Dean Karsky for County Commission 2016

karsky-and-hutch-goats

I would be great on the County Commission, especially for the goat farmers in rural Minnehaha county.

I read in the Argus Leader today that Karsky is considering a run for County Commission. I have been watching the Commission meetings lately, and I can tell you they conduct business quite differently then the city council, they also have a tighter budget. First off, the commissioners sit on a bunch of committees and put in a lot more time then councilors do (they also get paid more). The discussions on the commission are also more in depth and issues and agenda items are vetted pretty thorough before the commission votes.

If Karsky thinks that first off, he has the time to serve on the commission, and secondly thinks his rubberstamping style on the council is going to roll on the commission, he is in for a big surprise.

Good luck Dean.

Citizens for Integrity Statement

By Bruce Danielson

Citizens for Integrity is a good government mission. Spending a life fighting battles for equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunities for all forms a compass to move forward in the darkness of greed.

Citizens for Integrity is not a NIMBY project. Many of those who have come together in this effort do not live close to any of the neighborhoods in question. We have nothing to personally / financially gain from these issues. My personally work will never intersect with any of the parties to these issues.

There are those who criticize what we are doing in order to expedite the ability to get a construction bid or some other favor.

The goal of Citizens for Integrity is only good government. The Ballot is Sacred. How hard is it to understand?

Just imagine any of you were running for election, supporting a measure to say make green the new purple, you would want to make sure every vote counts. You would wish the ballot reflected the hard work you put in to get the Initiative on the ballot so your neighbors could vote on it.

We have processes in place to make it happen. We have problems with the current cobbled up mess our city government is showing. We have a mayor who has shown no bounds for breaking long established customs and rules. He has fired (or arranged for) quality personnel, appointed replacements to do his work and then gets upset when someone finds out what is going on.

We are pointing to problems with an election and the system. The leaders of the four petition efforts are not driving this effort, I am.

This is not a NIMBY effort, this is a moral and legal effort. When will you get off your computers and fight for something good on behalf of your least able neighbors in the name of good government? If you sit at your computers and complain all day, you are doing nothing to improve the system for all of us.

So to those who only want building projects so they can sell materials to it, sell land, have their kids going swimming or sneak a special code into a big complicated document, we are sorry for you. You have lost the value of our system and ways. This is not a greed movement, this is a good government movement.

The next few days will tell a lot about our system and the way we move into the future. Hang on, it could be a bumpy ride.

SIDENOTE (Detroit Lewis): I watched the Minnehaha County Commission meeting it shows why the County Commission differs from the City Council. Bruce receives praise from the commission for finding errors and asking them to get resolved and even the county auditor, Litz attests to Bruce’s diligence. Walk over to Carnegie Town hall, and all he receives is scorn for finding mistakes. The tale of two cities I guess.

And now onto the Council meeting. Crickets. No explanations, no apologies, no remorse.

Why TIF’s are hurting us . . .

This quote from County Commissioner, John Pekas, pretty much sums it up;

“We are the constant underfunded entity in the state of South Dakota,” Pekas said. “This is the perfect poetic situation. The state has a surplus, the city has a surplus and we are out of money.”

I have often felt that there should be a shift in property tax dollars towards the county, I have also felt that the School Board, the County Commission and City Council should all have to approve a TIF with a 60% majority.

Trust me, if the law changed to allow this kind of approval process, no more TIF’s would be approved, and ironically, development would continue.

Minnehaha County Commission leaves petition policy ‘As is’

The commission decided today to leave the petitioners policy in front of the administration building ‘As is’ with possible improvements. They have also posted the policy on the building for petitioners to read. The commission is also considering budgeting for improving the entry way to make it more ADA compliant.

I will applaud the Commission for listening to constituents on this issue and making a common sense decision allowing petitioners to easily petition their government instead of making it more difficult.